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Resistance through non-violence in Palestine: An effective strategy to support
an article by Ziad Medoukh

The recent Israeli evacuation by force of two small peaceful rallies in the tents at Bab chams - the Sun Gate-and the Dignity at Karama - rallies organized by dozens of Palestinian militants near Jerusalem to protest against the construction of Israeli settlements on Palestinian-owned land, show that the popular struggle is able to achieve our national goals, and that non-violence can always be an effective strategy to fight against the Israeli occupation of our Palestinian territories.



click on photo to enlarge

The most important aspect of these events is the determination of the activists. Despite the brutality of the occupation forces and despite their eviction, they came back several times and by different ways to the place where they had been evicted. They have not only hung Palestinian flags, but they even erected tents. Their means have remained non-violent despite the various attacks and arrests by the Israelis. Their actions are a strong indicator of the ability of Palestinians to develop their peaceful activities against the occupation forces and against colonization and confiscation of their land.

These outstanding actions are in addition to the various activities organized regularly by dozens of Palestinians, especially in the West Bank, near the Apartheid Wall and on the lands confiscation by the Israeli army. There are fewer actions in the Gaza Strip, with only a few protests against the security buffer zone imposed by the Israeli army in the northern Gaza Strip.

The mass media, including the Palestinian media, have not talked a lot about these peaceful actions, and the political parties and factions, even the official Palestinian institutions have not supported these kinds of actions.

The media are not interested in this type of resistance, they are looking for war, death, and violence, and they are eager for such events, as we have seen during the recent Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip last November.

The Palestinian National Authority is very involved in the negotiations and peace process with the Israeli side, a process that is a complete failure twenty years after the Oslo Accords. Israel has never applied any of the peace agreements, or any international resolution, and this is supported by the complicit silence of the international community in the face of the ongoing Israeli violations.

The Palestinian factions are divided on the choice of a single form of armed resistance, and they have no consensus. Other forms of resistance have shown their inefficiency, not to mention the total imbalance of military means employed between the Israeli and these factions.

The problem is that non-violent resistance is not supported or encouraged by the Authority, and these factions. This resistance develops as a result of citizens' initiatives and individual commitment with no real strategy or long term planning or organization . The non-violent actions, despite their importance, are of short duration and occasional.

We are occupied, and we have the legitimate right to resist by all means against this occupation that assassinates, kills and colonizes every day. Non-violent resistance could help the Palestinians to put an end to this colonial occupation.

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The current situation in the Palestinian territories is marked by the absence of projects, total despair and continued installation of Israeli settlements. An inhumane blockade  been imposed for more than seven years on the one and a half million Gazans.

In the West Bank the apartheid wall separates Palestinians from their villages and lands, not to mention the acceleration of colonization, checkpoints and enforcement actions taken by the occupation.

Faced with this situation, in their struggle against the occupation and their demand for their national rights, the Palestinians, despite their determination and various forms of resistance, have failed to realize their expectations: they
continue to be occupied and to see their land confiscated land by the Israeli settlers.

Our situation is influenced by many events happening in our region and in the world, which make the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict very difficult. It will take a real reflection on the part of all the Palestinian organizations to find a lasting solution to our conflict with the Israelis.

We Palestinians must organize ourselves, to live up to our own hopes and those of others around the world who are in solidarity with our cause.  We are trying to offer an alternative by means of non-violence, even if the Israeli occupation
continues its aggressive and violent against our people.

Resistance through non-violence is neither known nor approved by many Palestinians because it is not publicized, it is not supported, it is not a priority for the Authority and factions. However, it needs to be organized and to be practiced by the Palestinian citizens who can not remain indifferent to the confiscation of their land and their daily suffering.

It is true that the Palestinians resist daily by their strength and attachment to their land despite all Israeli aggression. But they must develop resistance against the settlers and against Israeli soldiers who come regularly on the territories that do not belong to them.

Non-violent action, contrary to what most people think, is the most difficult choice, because it requires technical coordination, cooperation and a real determination to be effective and deliver results more useful than recourse to violence. Non-violence is part of the popular mobilization that actually scares the occupying forces. Israel prefers the armed struggle and factions, because it is an excuse to bomb and attack to crush the Palestinians. . ...more.


This report was posted on February 5, 2013.